The Midwest Shrine Association (MSA) will be bringing its 2025 winter and summer conferences and conventions to Moose Jaw.
The business meetings will take place February 19 - 22, 2025 with the summer family event scheduled for August 21 - 25, 2025.
"This is an incredible opportunity for the Shrine Club to raise awareness of what we do, but it's also an amazing opportunity for Moose Jaw to see things that you normally wouldn't see," said Aaron Ruston, director general of the Moose Jaw Shrine Club. "We're going to have close to 800 Shriners in town, with all the parades, the mini-cars, the mini-bikes, the horses. We're having parades on Main Street, car shows, it's going to be cool."
The MSA covers Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Western Ontario and several U.S. states including Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Ruston says Moose Jaw's bid, which beat out another larger Saskatchewan city, was a community effort with many different organizations playing key roles in helping to attract the event.
He notes the conventions will bring close to 800 Shriners to Moose Jaw, with several summer events in the works.
"Everything from parades to exhibitions. We'll have tradeshows going on. We're going to have some tournaments going on. Some will be only for Shrine members, but others will be open to the public. You're going to see a lot of things. We're going to have a main concert where people can come and have some fun. There's going to be a lot of stuff that we're going to see as time goes by. We have two and a half days to fill up. It's going to be a busy time in Moose Jaw but Moose Jaw deserves it."
Ruston says the economic impact will be huge for the city with hundreds of hotel rooms being required. A spin-off is also expected for local campgrounds, restaurants, and shops downtown.
The organizing committee is also hoping to host a car show that same weekend and is encouraging visiting Shriners to bring their classic cars and bikes.
Moose Jaw was originally scheduled to host the MSA event back in 2020, but those plans were halted by COVID. Green Bay, Wisconsin served as host last year.
Ruston explained that the Shriners are a charitable organization whose sole philanthropy is to raise money to help treat sick children, in specialty ways. The Shriners Hospital for Children is located in Montreal, with local clubs raising funds to help cover transportation costs for families.